Get ready to sweat

January 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Bootcamp is a scary term. Visions of an army sergeant yelling in my face flash through my mind. My muscles burn at the mere thought of the intensity it suggests.

Last week on the Surrey campus, fitness trainer Emily Taylor put on a free bootcamp session for those interested in signing up for a six-week program. My prediction about intensity was dead on, but the army sergeant turned out to be a peppy fitness trainer who is motivating, not terrifying.

The work-out began with a few laps, followed by lunges up and down the length of the gym. Ten minutes in and I was already sweating.

About halfway through the work-out, I revisited an old feeling from my cross-country running days back in Grade 7. The I-can’t-go-on-I’m-going-to-die feeling. Sweat was dripping from my forehead, and I’m pretty sure I was a bright shade of pink that is unnatural. But Taylor pushed us on.

I particularly enjoyed some of the new exercises that she introduced. One was a partner exercise in which we used an extremely stretchy plastic rope. Partners both go inside the rope, facing the same direction, approximately three feet from one another. The person in the back does a squat, and holds the rope behind them taught, grounding the person in front. The person in front then takes two large steps forward, touches the ground, jumps up in the air, then takes two steps back and repeats. Switch positions. Hard to imagine? Just as hard to do.

We also did intervals at various stations, a minute at each. They included step intervals, jump rope and more. And for abs, I found a new fun workout that a friend and I could do at home – without the horrible exercise that is the crunch. The exercise involved both partners lying on their backs, feet facing one another and linking those feet. With a weighted ball in one person’s hand, in unison, both partners sit up, pass the ball to the other person, and go back down to the floor. Crunches with a friendly twist.

The workout ended with lunges across the gym, and doing “monkey jumps” at each side. Monkey jumps require you to hold a weighted ball. With feet shoulder-length apart, you squat and, keeping your arms locked straight, swing your “monkey-arms” up jump and repeat. My legs were burning and almost buckled nearing the end of the exercise.

Aafter some wind-down stretches, it was over and I was thankful, yet felt surprisingly rejuvenated and energetic. I learned a few new exercises and was pushed harder than I ever would have pushed myself on my own.

I was expecting to only recommend this class to those who can handle high-intensity workouts. As it turns out, Taylor is perceptive to the needs of each person in the class, and it is safe to say that anyone could take this class, regardless of fitness level.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

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Those who want to sign up; contact Taylor at (604) 599-2307 or email her at You can also visit the program website for more info.

Prices are to be announced and the classes don’t officially begin until next week. They will take place on Tuesday and Thursday, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., in the gym on the Surrey campus.